Leavenworth County Commission race finalized: Oroke will be 4th candidate on ballot

Candidates for the Leavenworth County Commission's new Fifth District are, from left Tonganoxie's David Frese (I), Tonganoxie's Curtis Oroke (I), Mike Stieben (R) and Linwood's Stuart Sweeney (D). The special election will be March 26. Enlarge photo

January 25, 2019, 6:16 p.m. Updated: 25 January 2019, 7:58 p.m.

Editor's note: A previous version of this online story had incorrect information. Election Day is Tuesday, March 26.

A fourth and final candidate completed the field for the Leavenworth County Commission’s Fifth District race late Friday afternoon.

Curtis Oroke, who currently serves on the Tonganoxie City Council, secured the required 400 valid signatures, County Clerk Janet Klasinski confirmed late Friday afternoon. Oroke’s bid for election became official in advance of the 5 p.m. deadline for candidate petitions.

He joins fellow Tonganoxie resident David Frese as candidates running as independents in the race. Per social media, Oroke indicated he had hoped to secure the Republican nomination, but no delegates brought his name forward during the Republican convention about a week ago.

Republicans chose another Tonganoxie resident in Mike Stieben, while Democrats selected rural Linwood resident Stuart Sweeney. The Fifth District is an L-shaped district that includes Tonganoxie and Linwood.

Candidates in the Fourth District, which includes Lansing and a southeast portion of Leavenworth, are Democrat Troy Smith, Independent Hank Spellman and Republican Chad Schimke.

Klasinski plans to send out informational letters to all residents in the two districts around Feb. 18 that will include information about the election and an application for advance ballots to be mailed to them.

On-site advance balloting will start March 6 at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. Voters can visit Klasinski’s office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday starting 8 a.m. March 6. Advance balloting will conclude at noon March 25.

Voters also can cast ballots from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Election Day March 26 at their regular polling sites. Klasinski said she plans to have all regular polling sites in the two districts open that day.

Winners of the two races will have to run again in 2020 and then in 2022 if they wish to keep their positions. The additional election in 2020 is part of a process to get the seat in the proper election cycle with the new five-seat commission. Voters approved increasing the commission from three to five seats this past November.

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